NORFOLK, Va. — The Harry S. Truman Carrier Strike Group remains at sea in the western Atlantic as a certified carrier strike group force ready for tasking to protect the crew from the risks posed by COVID-19, following their deployment to the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation, the U.S. 2nd Fleet said in a release.
The Navy is taking this measure to maintain the strike group’s warfighting capability while ensuring the safety of the crew.
The demand for naval assets remains high. Therefore, keeping the Truman strike group at sea as it remains in the sustainment phase of optimized fleet response plan (OFRP) allows the ship to maintain a high level of readiness for a potential rapid surge or forward deployment, providing options to the national command authority during the global pandemic.
“The ship is entering a period in which it needs to be ready to respond and deploy at any time,” said Vice Adm. Andrew Lewis, commander of the 2nd Fleet. “Normally, we can do that pierside, but in the face of COVID-19, we need to protect our most valuable asset, our people, by keeping the ship out to sea.”
The Navy will continue to evaluate the situation and will provide an update to the crew and their families in about three weeks.
“After completing a successful deployment, we would love nothing more than to be reunited with our friends and families,” said Rear Adm. Andrew Loiselle, commander of Carrier Strike Group 8.
“We recognize that these are unique circumstances and the responsible thing to do is to ensure we are able to answer our nation’s call while ensuring the health and safety of our Sailors. We thank you for your continued love and support as we remain focused on this important mission.”